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Old March 6th, 2009, 09:06 PM   #1
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Adobe Media Encoder cs4 slower?

I just tested a simple project in CS4, I am slowly migrating to it. It was 20 minutes of HDV footage dropped into the timeline, I increased the brightness just a smidge and went to render it out to SD mpg for a DVD.

After choosing the exact settings that I use in cs3 (ntsc 16x9 8000kbps CBR, I hit render and it brings up the new Adobe Media encoder seperate from premiere. I hit render there, and away it goes. All 4 processors of my quadcore are pumping at full 100%. Yeah!

However this simple 20 minute render is going to take 48 minutes.

In Cs3 I just rendered a 45 minute wedding in HDV using a ton of Magic BUllet effects and it took only 26 minutes. This piece is less than half as long, with little effects and it's taking double. By this measurement my wedding would take close to 2 hours versus 26 minutes in CS3.

Anyone else seeing longer render times in CS4? I expected it to stay the same or get faster, not lag way behind previous versions. Also, since all 4 processors are cranking, it is not an issue of not being multithreaded properly.

Anyone have any ideas here? I hate moving forward in software and simultaneously moving backward in performance...which seems to happen frequently with Adobe! :)
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Old March 7th, 2009, 07:18 AM   #2
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The wild card in your comparison is MBL. What's your video card? MBL can use the nVidea GPU to process the effects which may be faster than your CPU. You may have an apples to armadillos comparison here.

If you want an accurate comparison, take the same footage and drop it into CS3. Do the same tweaks and render. That will give you better data.
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Old March 7th, 2009, 08:35 AM   #3
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I plan to try that but even though magic bullet utilizes the GPU to accelerate the Magic Bullet sections, I can't fathom that it would ever actually accelerate it beyond how the CPU can render a simple color coorection. I did remove the brioghtness and contrast filter in that same project in CS4 and it seemed as though it was going to render in about 20 minutes. So at this point a straight, no cuts, no effects render to mpg2 is taking 20 minutes when the project is only 20 minutes? I still don't unerstand how a CS3 project that is 45 minutes long and has mucho effects and transitions can render in 26 minutes yet a 20 minute no effects and no transitions takes 20 minutes in cs4.

SO has anyone else noticed a slowdown?
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Old March 7th, 2009, 12:32 PM   #4
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Same exact file imported into CS3 and applied brightness and contrast filter is currently rendering out and is estimating 15:10 to complete. Again, in CS4 this same exact clip and settings is taking 47 minutes, over three times as long.

Is there something in CS4 media encoder that I am missing? Both CS3 amd CS4 are using 100% of all fours cores so that is not the issue. After this is done I will go back into CS4 and see if there is a setting that I am missing somewhere. In the meantime, can anyone verify if they have seen this massive increase in rednering times to mpg files?

Thanks.
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Old March 7th, 2009, 01:19 PM   #5
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If I may ask, what computer and processor are you using, and what OS with how much RAM?
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Old March 7th, 2009, 03:31 PM   #6
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Intel Q6600 running at 3.2 GHZ
Windows XP professional SP3
4 GB of DDR2 1066MHZ RAM (XP only uses 3.2GB of this)
Various 7200 RPM Sata Drives

Does this help any?
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Old March 7th, 2009, 06:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty Hudzik View Post
Same exact file imported into CS3 and applied brightness and contrast filter is currently rendering out and is estimating 15:10 to complete. Again, in CS4 this same exact clip and settings is taking 47 minutes, over three times as long.
Whoa. Something smells a bit of fish but it's not completely surprising. New software releases almost always involve more code than the one it replaces. That means it will generally run a bit slower, but newer, faster hardware tends to mask that. I had 20 years in the computer systems biz and it's a story I've seen over and over again.

I don't know how much of AME Adobe overhauled in CS4, but if one believes their marketing it could have been substantial. Performance optimization is one of the last things in the development cycle. Could be that they didn't have all the time they wanted. It could get a kicker in the dot release. Regardless, three times longer is pretty pathetic.
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Old March 13th, 2009, 01:27 AM   #8
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A simple test has proven that CS4 is slower than CS3 by a large margin.

1 minute HDV 24P clip from Canon XL-h1 imported into CS3, dropped directly on the timeline, and a brightness and contrast filter applied. Increased brightness and contrast slightly.

Same process repeated for CS4 with exact same clip on exact same PC.
I then rendered this out to mpg2 DVD compliant files at 8000kbs CBR on both CS3 and CS4

the results:

CS3: Rendered this in 30 seconds
CS4: Rendered in 1:21 second (81 seconds) not quite 3x slower.

What gives here? There is no need for this kind of a performance hit for something so simple.

Also, with this simple 1 minute HDV clip being the only file loaded in CS4, my memory usage shot up to 2.6gb of ram while rendering. I only have 4GB and XP only sees 3.15 or so. How can I expect to get anything major done when having a single app (Premiere CS4) and a single clip in the project uses near 3 gig? The original file was only 200MB too!

In addition, when playing from the timeline without rendering, both CS3 and CS4 did a decent job keeping up, but I noted that CS3 was only using about 15-20% CPU whereas CS4 was more like 50-60% for the same exact effect.

Unless someone tells me that CS4 is actually doing some kind of deep 12bit processing and therefore that is why it is such a dog, I just have to throw my hands up and say why? All 4 cores are cooking at 100% in both instances but CS4 is just not moving fast at all.

I hated moving from cs2 to cs3 because it was much slower. NOw CS4 is trumping CS3 in that dept.

And to refresh everyone this is on a Intel 3.2GHZ quadcore too!~

I'm going to bed a fustrated man.
G'night all...
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Old March 13th, 2009, 04:26 PM   #9
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Welcome to the world of Premiere CS4.. My editor knew what he was doing when he rejected my in-depth review of it. Adobe is strong advertiser...
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Old March 14th, 2009, 03:35 AM   #10
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just wondering, i have not used cs4 but use cs3 and do not use it to output to mpg because the quality is so poor even when i choose the maximum settings. compare the quality and see if it is worth it. i usually output it raw and use a 3rd party program to output to mpg.
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Old March 16th, 2009, 12:32 PM   #11
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I have not had issues with CS3 exporting quality mpg files since I discovered the "deinterlace" check-box bug in the CS3 media encoder. So I see no difference in quality for CS3 or CS4, just CS4 is taking mucho longer with no perceived benefit.


I recently tested CS4 on a different machine to make sure it wasn't my primary system causing the slow encode issue. The machine was an XP pro box with 2.13GHz dual core with 4 GB ram. My main machine is much faster but since I am comparing cs3 encode to CS4 encodes it should be relative and I am just trying to get a 2nd machine to verify the performance gap between CS3 and CS4.

First in CS3:
I loaded an empty Premiere project at 1080P 24F HDV with the simple universal counter.

I applied a fast color correct effect to bring the brighness down slightly. I then rendered it out in CS3 media encoder to a 1080P 24F mpg at 17mbps. Took 51 seconds.

Same exact project opened in CS4 and exported using the new CS4 media encoder took 1:51 seconds.

Once again, both CPUs of the Dual Core were crunching away, so if there is not some real reason it is taking so much longer, then CS4 is just poorly coded and is essentially half as fast as the previous version. Well worth the cost of the upgrade I'd say! :)
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Old March 17th, 2009, 09:51 AM   #12
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Marty, it's been hinted at in another thread that your issues might stem from XP 32-bit, and CS4 not being able to make full-use of the OS. When I upgraded to CS4, I did not notice a substantial difference in render times on Vista-64... but I've been running this OS on an 8-GB RAM, quad-core Q6600 system for over 18 months. I know there's a lot of Vista-haters out there, but I've seen nothing but substantial improvements in stability over my old XP CS2 system back in the day.

And while I've never performed an A-B test between CS3 and CS4, the massive gains in productivity with the Render Queue and two-way Dynamic Link between PPro and After Effects haven't made me too critical about anything to do with CS4. My workflow is just so much better with CS4. Heck, going from PPro HDV edits right into Encore to make SD-DVD's and Flash web-versions are now renderless. Talk about time-savings...

But seeing the issues you're having with render times, I think you'll be looking at either an OS upgrade OR going back to CS3 until you're ready to make the plunge. Or just perform renders during off hours or while you're sleeping... and then it won't much really matter. ;-)

Lest I end on a flippant note... here's something to try: if you have the full Adobe Production suite, go ahead and bring your PPro project into After Effects via Dynamic Link and test your render times there. AE has always had better rendering engine(s) than PPro... and has had a Queue for a very long time. Plus, you'll get a chance to put some effects on your footage that PPro can't shake a stick at...

HTH,
Brian Brown
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Old March 17th, 2009, 10:22 AM   #13
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thanks for the extended reply. I have thought about moving to Vista 64 recently anyway, but find it odd that Adobe doesn't write 64bit versions of most of their applications, yet because of poor coding may actually need the extra memory of the 64bit OS to perform the same functions that it can already do in CS3. There is no doubt that my little experience in CS4 show that is uses so much more RAM for basic stuff.

I have been tempted to setup a dual boot machine with Vista 64 anyway.......hmm.
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Old March 17th, 2009, 01:45 PM   #14
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Marty, the CS4 Production Suite comes with a 64-bit application: Photoshop. Again, I haven't performed any A-B testing between the 32 and 64-bit versions. But in general a 64-bit OS allows multi-tasking to take place in a much bigger arena, since you're no longer hampered by 3GB total system memory limitations. Each app. can take up to 4GB, so it's nice when I've got AE, PPro, PS, and Encore running (which is pretty often). And having up to 4GB of RAM preview in AE is nice indeed.

As long as you have Vista-64 drivers for all of your hardware and peripherals (printers were the most "hit or miss" for me)... I'd say go 'fer the dual boot and I don't think you'll be sorry.

HTH,
Brian
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Old March 17th, 2009, 04:04 PM   #15
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Brian,
I know that photoshop has a 64bit version but the rest of the production sweet.....nada. Anyway, my frustration is that I am not asking anything more out of my software at all....I currently run Photoshop, Premiere, After effects and sometimes Illustrator simultaneously with just 4GB of RAM 32bit XP and most of the time is ok. I occasionally use it all up. Now, just Premiere with a single HDV 1 minute clip and exporting to media encoder is eating 2.8GB of RAM with CS4.

Believe me, I am all for multitasking and using multiple programs at once, but when a single application with one assett is running so slow as to require a 64bit OS, it seems a bit ridonkulous (that worse than riduculous). Is CS4 the new Vista? Hardware requirements way beyond what has been stated just to do mundane tasks?

I understand that when using all the apps and loading up tons of layers and effects and large graphics and animations and switching between multiple CS4 apps that 64bit and more RAM would be a huge hit. But why, should I have to have all that extra hoopla to render a simple HDV clip to mpg in the same time it takes on the same PC with a program that is 18 months old.

Don;t get me wrong, I want to upgrade to more RAM, but it seems a bit over the top to think that simple tasks would require this. I mean, what happened, Adobe now has the code written so that encoding a simple clip requires 3 times as much RAM....just because they were lazy, or they are trying to push hardware sales of RAM.

Again, I see the benefits of the 64bit OS and oodles of ram, but I fail to see why simple encoding of an HDV file requires it when a lowly 32bit OS can already do it faster with CS3.

Rant over. Carry on. Sorry for the frustration.
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